Cristiano Ronaldo is in the running for his third-consecutive Ballon d’Or as he leads the men’s nominations, with France Football releasing their list of 30 at staggered intervals throughout the day.
The Juventus forward helped Real Madrid to a third successive Champions League title in May, 2018 scoring 44 goals in 44 games in all competitions in his final season at the club.
The Ballon d’Or, which is European football’s oldest having been awarded every year since 1956, has been won by either Ronaldo or Lionel Messi for the past 10 years, with each winning a record five.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is among the nominations after another impressive year, winning the World Cup Golden Boot with England.
Eden Hazard is also on the set of names on the list after an impressive World Cup campaign with Belgium and a fast start to the new season at Chelsea.
World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann, who has said he craves to win the Ballon d’or is on the list, as well as international teammate N’Golo Kante and Real Madrid midfielder Isco.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne was among the second set of nominations after winning the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Community Shield, while also playing a major role in helping Belgium finish third at the World Cup.
Fellow Belgium international Thibaut Courtois is also on the list despite a shaky start to life at Real Madrid, while Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino receives a nomination after their run to the Champions League final.
Uruguay captain Diego Godin completed the second set of nominations after winning the Europa League with Atletico Madrid.
Sergio Aguero was the first nominee on Monday morning after scoring 26 goals in 33 games in 2018 for club and country as Manchester City won three trophies.
He was followed by Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, who made a then-world record transfer to the club after helping Roma to the Champions League semifinals.
Then came Gareth Bale, who scored twice in the Champions League final — along with Real Madrid teammate and fellow scorer, Karim Benzema.
Paris Saint-German forward Edinson Cavani — who came 11th in last year’s poll — completed the quintet.
The award runs alongside FIFA’s The Best, which was won by Luka Modric in September, 2018.
Meanwhile, France Football have also unveiled the 10-man shortlist for the Kopa Award, given to the best under-21 player in the world.
Ronaldo and Messi will be among the panelists deciding the winner.
Kylian Mbappe leads the names after a successful year with PSG and France, while Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold is also nominated.
United States and Borussia Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic is on the list, as well as AC Milan duo Patrick Cutrone and Gianluigi Donnarumma.
Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, Groningen’s Ritsu Doan, Red Bull Salzburg’s Amadou Haidara, Roma’s Justin Kluivert, and Santos’ Rodrygo complete the list.
2018 Ballon d’Or nominees:
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City and Argentina)
Alisson (Roma/Liverpool and Brazil)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid and Wales)
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid and France)
Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain and Uruguay)
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea/Real Madrid and Belgium)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid/Juventus and Portugal)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium)
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool and Brazil)
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid and Uruguay)
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid and France)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Belgium)
Isco (Real Madrid and Spain)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur and England)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea and France)
2018 Kopa Award nominees:
Houssem Aouar (Lyon and France)
Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool and England)
Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan and Italy)
Ritsu Doan (Groningen and Japan)
Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan and Italy)
Amadou Haidara (Red Bull Salzburg and Mali)
Justin Kluivert (Ajax/AS Roma and Netherlands)
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain and France)
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund and United States)
Rodrygo (Santos and Brazil)